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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  December 3, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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her mother was a wonderful person. it met her at a signing in florida. great people. that is what is great about the tour. you meet great people. >> kimberly: welcome back. that's it for us five. thank you for watching. see you back here tomorrow. >> bret: this is a fox news alert. i'm bret baier. a stern warning about a deadly threat with word tonight that threat could be real. the u.s. is warning syria there will be consequences. if chemical weapons are used on opposition forces. in that country civil war. connor powell is following the story from jerusalem. >> syrian jets continue pounding opposition fighters outside damascus.
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the u.s. intelligence officials tell fox news that they may be planning to release deadlier weapons. stock piles to use on the opposition forces. late today, president obama warned the syrian president. >> i want to make it clear to assad and those under his command the world is watching. if you make the mistake of using the weapons you will be held accountable. >> this is hours after mr. obama secretary of state on a visit to czech republic laid down the marker. >> we made our views clear. >> the officials responded saying they would never use chemical weapons against its
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own people. a rebel stronghold, civilians and children were attacked by pro-assad forces who killed and wounded dozens. a move to prevent fighting to spill over the border, nato will have patriot antiaircraft batteries to stop the jets from attacking turkey where the rebels trained. it's prompting u.n. to withdrawal all nonessential employees. they publicly denied that assad would use weapons on his own people. raising the question with his departure has the assad policy changed? bret? >> connor powell in the middle east newsroom. thanks. more on this with the panel. now a standoff of a different type. back at home. the fiscal kind. house republicans leaders calling this a bold
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counteroffer. that presents a fair, middle ground. the white house is saying it has nothing new with no details. it is a republican compromise solution to the impending fiscal cliff. spending cut and tax increases that both sides mean would mean recession. after what both sides called a frustrating weekend. today's development don't appear to break a log jam. not yet. ed henry begins our coverage. >> reporter: good evening. they are saying the plan is ridiculous, so much so they will not offer counterproposal to the g.o.p. counterproposal and say tonight unless speaker boehner gives in on raising taxes on the rich, the president is ready to go off the cliff. >> right now i'd say we are nowhere, period. nowhere. >> john boehner declaring a stalemate in an exclusive with fox, as republicans teed off
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on president obama first offer that included new spending plus 1.6 trillion in tax hikes. totally unacceptable. >> i think we are going over the cliff. it's clear to me they made political calculation. white house officials insisted disaster could be amended and demanded a counter offer on the table. >> what we hope for is specificity from the republicans. >> an hour later, boehner did that. oftenning $800 billion in new tax revenue without raising rates. half what the president wants. far steeper cuts to entitlement than the president called for. $300 billion in savings from other programs like farm subsidiaries. >> the president ignored questions in the oval office. he went to twitter to repeat there can't be tax cut at the rich at the expense of
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domestic programs. they have an unpopular move to raise medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. slower growth and social security benefit using less generous measure of inflation. boehner decided to lay down the gauntlet and challenge the president's mandate in a letter to mr. obama. writing, "after a status quo election in which both you and the republican majority in the house were re-elected, the american people rightly expect both parties to come together on a fair middle ground. adding the president's approach is neither balanced nor realistic. >> this is unaccept to believe have repeat performance of what they watched in horror in the summer of 2011. >> white house officials note that even erskine bowles is pulling back from the claim by
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boehner he is on board. in a few moments the president will be hosting the congressional ball, black tie holiday party. first time they will see him face to face in days. maybe they'll work on a compromise. >> bret: ed henry on the north lawn. thanks. let's talk about the fiscal cliff negotiations with one of the key democrats involved. chris van hol season a five-term representative from maryland. the ranking member of the house budget committee. thank you for being here. >> great to be with you. >> bret: where do you see the process now? >> we have been waiting for a response. he put something in writing. good news it's in writing and the bad news it doesn't get us moving forward. but piece of paper. that is a change. >> the piece of paper. house g.o.p. counter offer. revenue, $800 billion. health savings $600 billion. mandatory savings $300 billion. revision to cpi.
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$200 billion. net savings $2.2 trillion. i have a cording to the white house accounting, $4.6 trillion overall. this is what the house speaker said. white house responded with the la la land offer that couldn't pass the house or senate. we decided we could have decided in kind but we decided not to do that. why is this counteroffer not advancing the ball at least to a discussion. >> good to have something on paper. this is a mix of cut and revenue. look at the revenue embedded in erskine bowles they are greater than the revenues the president proposed. $1.6 trillion. if we go over the fiscal cliff that is $5 trillion in new revenue to come in. the president doesn't want to
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do that but wants 1.6. is lower amount of re-knew than embedded in simpson. the president has cuts going forward. time to begin the confirmation. the president cuts are different. for example, the president does medicare reform and he doesn't pass it along to seniors. he reduces payment to drug companies. got something on paper. >> bret: consumer price index off the table? >> this is part of the social security reform. social security is owed. $2.5 trillion. from the general fund in terms of the bonds. our view is strengthen social security on its own terms. 100 100% solvent until 2033. after that if you do nothing, pays 75 cents on the dollar.
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>> bret: are democrats willing to do specific things on entitlements now? this side of the cliff. let's just say that rates are going to go up on some level. republicans get to that point. million dollar cap going up. $500,000 and above. the rates will go up. you get it out of them. will entitlement be changed on this side of the fiscal cliff? >> two things in response to that. first, the great irony here is four weeks ago, mitt romney and paul ryan and republicans are pummeling the president for $716 billion for medicare savings that extended the life of medicare. they said they want to add all the costs back in.
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hopefully they are back to the position of the ryan budget to recognize they're important savings. number one. number two, the president's plan, budget, contains medicare savings than the ryan-republican plan did. we'd like to see the specifics, what are they proposing with respect to cuts to medicare? >> we can go around the healthcare barnyard again and again, about how you can't spend that money twice. and how medicare actuary said that. the $716 billion. you can either use it to shore up medicare or use it to pay for obamacare. >> right. right. but the fact is the position that mitt romney took as a presidential candidate was to put all of those costs back in to medicare. which would have meant it went insolvent eight years sooner. >> bret: but we're not talking about romney anymore. we're talking what about you'll do to find a solution
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going forward. >> i know we're not talking about romney. we're talking about the house proposal now. the question number one are they saying we should keep $716 billion in savings? which a lot said we shouldn't. that is important to know. then we can look at the other savings. the big difference between the way the president proposed to deal with the medicare and republicans. the republican plan, their definition of reform is pass rising healthcare cost to back of seniors. you can modernize to change incentive and move to system not free for service. focuses on the value of care not volume of care. >> i'm not hearing a lot of give on entitlements on this si >> there is a difference of the best approach to savings and medicare. we don't believe we should pass the costs -- >> bret: gotcha, so the answer is no. >> no, that's not true. you can reform medicare and build on what we did in the
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affordable care act. >> bret: this side of december 30 -- >> without unloading the healthcare cost on back of seniors. >> medium income of beneficiary is under $22,000. it's important to be really careful. it's important when you talk about reform and president reform is reduce healthcare cost overall, not transfer it to back of seniors. >> last thing, what are you going to give republicans to get them to place where you can negotiate final deal? >> there are cuts in the republican budget. republicans haven't paid attention to them. but a number of cuts there. for example, he eliminates many of the excess i agricultural necessities. we asked pharmaceutical companies to pay more in rebate and going back to where we were in 2003. with respect to how we reimburse for what are called the dual eligibles, people on medicare and medicaid.
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the president put forward proposed cuts. time for republicans to be specific. it can't tell if speaker boehner is proposing additional defense cuts in this, for example. >> bret: okay. congressman i haven't heard anything new that you are giving them. so hopefully the door is open for some more negotiations. >> i would hope, let me say i hope when it comes to medicare reform they would agree that the better way to do it is to reduce healthcare costs overall. not simply transfer the costs. after all, the medicare system, in terms of the per capita growth in increase and cost has been slower than the per capita increase in cost in the private health system. it's really important to keep it in mind as we talk about reforming the programs. >> bret: okay. congressman, good luck. >> thank you. >> bret: manufacturing in november shrank to the weakest level since july of 2009. impact of super storm sandy and worry over possible tax increases are blamed. stocks were down today.
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the dow lost 60. s&p 500 dropped 7. nasdaq was off eight. halftime comment that had critics putting in full-time online and on twitter. that is later in the grapevine. up next, could new epa regulations topple one of the country's big industrys? [ female announcer ] food, meet flavor. flavor, meet food. it's time for swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] get recipes at
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>> bret: the director of national intelligence will breach house members. clap her be joined by other top officials and expected the bipartisan classified briefing may be followed by a similar session for senators. the supreme court is attempting to sift through the legal muddy waters about storm water runoff and pollution. it involves the environmental lobby versus the timber industry. correspondent shannon bream has the story from the high court.
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>> in the last 90 days, obama administration proposed 6,000 new regulations to impact everything from the private property to your religious freedom. it comes from the environmental protection agency. today, the epa role from the logging trails in oregon was front and center at the supreme court. where logging industry representatives argue that overregulation could cost them millions. >> loss of jobs with a million people employed by the industry. >> environmentalists argue epa has role for protecting u.s. waterways and should be doing more. >> epa and state regulators weren't willing to take on the practice, we stepped in to challenge it and try to bring it under the law. >> epa is one of dozens of federal entities that issues regulation and rules each day. measures that often go in to
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effect before those who will be impacted even know they are under consideration. that is something the regulatory flexibility act was designed to prevent. it requires the current administration to issue reports in both april and october, identifying the proposed rules likely to have significant economic impact, something the obama administration hasn't done in more than a year. >> coincidently it happened with an election year. we are concerned that will become the new normal. during election years, all of a sudden, the regulatory information, regulatory transparency goes by the wayside. >> we reached out the the white house about the missed deadlines in april and october. and we are awaiting their response. bret? >> bret: shannon, thank you. later, who benefits if we do jump off the fiscal cliff. up next, are we on a crash course in egypt? this holiday, share everything.
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>> bret: direct talks are possible but would have to be approved by the supreme leader. this is the first clear signal that iran would consider dialogue with washington. the communist nation will attempt to send up a satellite between december 10-22. egypt constitutional crisis will go on for a few more weeks. steve harrigan has the latest. >> they're afraid to do their
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job. the court surrounded by several thousands chanting protesters sunday morning and the judges refused to enter the building, citing fiscal and psychological intimidation from the crowd. egypt interior ministry said police made the entrance secure. demonstrators say they were backing the president. >> you are here to support the decision of president mohammed morsi. we haven't stopped anyone from entering and we haven't destroyed anything. we're here to protest. that is our constitutional right. >> what is or is not constitutional in egypt these days is in flux. it's set to be voted nonnational referendum on december 15. until then, both sides marshall the forces. demonstrating the support on the street.
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the number of protesters declineed. to just a few thousand tonight. the government strategy of the nonconfrontation with opponents have been working. that is put to the test on tuesday when they plan to march to enemy territory. >> the protesters plan to march toward the presidential palace tomorrow where they could clash with morsi supporters. can'tly what the government has been trying to avoid. >> steve harrigan live in cairo. thank you. the royal family is about to get bigger. palace officials say prince william and wife kate are expecting their first child. the dutchs of cambridge is in the hospital tonight in what is described as a severe case of morning sickness. the child would be third in line for the throne behind the father and grandfather prince charles. president obama and the first lady officially extended their congratulations today. >> pope benedict will tweet from his personal account a
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beak from tomorrow. the vatican says he will tweet in eight languages starting the 12. right now the pope has more than a quarter million followers on twitter. just in english. judges who live in class houses should not throw stones. we'll expound on that next in the grapevine. the question online and maybe at the water cooler today is halftime of a football game the right place to advocate for gun control? you won't take my life. you won't take our future. aids affects us all. even babies. chevron is working to stop mother-to-child transmission. our employees and their families are part of the fight. and we're winning. at chevron nigeria, we haven't had a reported case in 12ears. aids is strong. aids is strong. but we are stronger. and aids... ♪ aids is going to lose. aids is going to lose. ♪
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>> bret: now fresh pickings from the political grapevine. sportscaster bob costas taking a lot of heat after using his segment on nbc sunday night football to advocate for gun control after a murder-suicide involving kansas city chiefs linebacker jovan belcher. listen as he quotes extensively from writer jason whitlock. >> our current gun culture, whitlock wrote, ensures more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and more convenient store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenager boys bloodied and dead. handguns do not enhance our safety. they exacerbate our flaws, bait us in to embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. in the coming days, belcher's action and the connection to football will be analyzed. who knows, but here wrote jason whitlock is what i
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believe. if belcher didn't process a gun, he and perkins would be alive today. >> bret: news busters said costas entitled to his opinion but does he have to give it during halftime of a nationally televised game? critics who say political bias turns up in college classrooms have a big number to back up the case. the web site campus reform looked to federal election records from open and found 96% of donations from ivy league faculty and staff went to president obama. congress approval rating has been dreadful but scores low marks on ethics and honesty also. new gallop poll finds members of congress come in second to last among professions beating only car salespeople. car salesman took to twitter today to express displeasure with the poll.
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10% said they would give congress a high to very high rating. 34% said average. 54% said very low to low. finally when researching the internet be careful when citing wikipedia. judge in england compiled a 2,000-page report on press ethics in which he warned that inaccuracy in newspapers caused significant concern. he claimed the independent was founded in 19786 by three journalists. he apparently got two names right. the third first appeare appearea wikipedia entry a year ago. far from being founder of the paper, the man's name is the same as a self-described beach bum from california whose only edit was on that page. the error was spotted and scrubbed by wikipedia a few weeks ago, but not in time to spare the judge's error. as we told you earlier,
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president obama is rejecting a counter offer from the house republicans to get the country off the fiscal cliff. so the stalemate continues. what happens if we wake up january 2 and it's fallen off the fiscal cliff? here is jim angle. >> today's counter offer made clear the republicans want to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. which some democrats speculated might happen to their benefit. >> this is the way the white house and many democratic members and leadership believe. we will go over the cliff. tall tax rates will go up. we will then enact tax cuts for 98%. we will get congratulations from the american people. >> keeping and adding back tax cut for those above $250,000, 9 #% of income would add $37 trillion in ten years and would only save $800 billion or so from raising rates on higher incomes. democrats complain the
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republicans didn't pay for bush tax cut and no one on the democratic side is talking about finding the off-setting savings now to extend them. several democrats contemplated going over the cliff in recent days. perhaps in hopes of gaining leverage. >> if the republicans don't agree with that, we reach a point where all the tax cuts expire and we start over next year. >> form every republican senate aide said it would be hard to blame one party. >> i think they realize that both sides will be culpable if we go over cliff. >> house speaker john boehner says going over the cliff is far too dangerous to the economy. nevertheless, even treasury secretary geithner suggested on fox news sunday that republicans might need more time to figure out their position. >> trying to figure out how to find a way to support things that they know they will have to do. it will be hard for them. >> the new republican offer, however, adds a new link to that. there is another reason some democrats might want to let
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the fiscal cliff happen. they might try to separate out any changes to entitlements such as medicare, which the president agreed to consider and many on the left vigorously opposed. >> the thing that is driving the horrendous deficit and debt problem are the federal healthcare programs. medicare, medicaid, tri care and related medical health programs. >> future deficits only make tax cuts even more contentious. any bill that permanently increases the deficit requires 60 votes in the senate. and these days, anything with the word "tax" in it, makes it hard to round up 60 votes. bret? >> bret: definitely. jim, thank you. >> you bet. >> bret: so do you think the white house and lawmakers will beat the deadline or is not let me know on twitter. you follow me@bretbaeir. republicans make a counter offer to get off the fiscal cliff. we have talk about it. what's in it. the president's response. the fox all-stars. they're next. [ male announcer ] you like who you are...
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they won the election. they must have forgot than republicans continue to hold the majority in the house. but, you know, the president's idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what i ask. we need to find common ground. we need to find it quickly. >> what are the chances we're going to go over the cliff? >> there is clearly a chance. can you promise we won't go over the cliff? >> i can't promise that. that lies in the hand of republican osposing the increase in tax rate. if they recognize reality we can't extend the tax rate, we have an agreement to be good for american people. >> bret: both sides called at it frustrating weekend after the backs and forth on fox news sunday. today, counter offer from the republicans that included $2
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$2.2 trillion with tax revenue. four other senior republicans sent to the white house. the white house said no thank you. nonstarter. bring in the panel. steve hayes for "weekly standard" zelney for the "new york times." sindcated columnnist charles krauthammer. jeff, moments ago, actually, erskine bowles, they named this the erskine bowles counter offer said in an interview this is kabuki theater. if both sides got an agreement the way that washington is too quickly, their own side would kill them because they wouldn't think they had negotiated hard enough. they have to go through the exchange. we are in the early stages of the dance to take us a little while. >> there is some truth to that. there is posturing on both sides of this.
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the white house and speaker bane side. there are 29 days left. business world looking for signal from washington, not much time at all. but in washington that is all the time in the world. this comes down to something on the cusp of christmas, christmas eve or new year's eve. there is a risk for both sides off the cliff. some say the burden is on the republicans that come to the deal. but big part of what the president second term is like. what he can do on a variety of other things is shaped by what happens here. there is a significant risk and students for both sides. >> to that point. there are republicans who say democrats want to go over this cliff. it would be tougher to get anything else done if the economy is in the tank at the beginning of next year.
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>> it would be tough to move the ball on other things. >> it would diminish capital that the president says. it would create ill will. more ill will than we see now. i think they believe there are things they could do quickly to mitigate the damage it would cause. if it would drive to us recession they could pull back on the rolling back the tax cut for the middle class. doing, undoing some of the sequester cuts. the white house thinks that. one reason going over the cliff isn't as unpalatable to them as it might seem at first blush. >> bret: you think more of a risk for the republicans? >> i still this think more of a risk for republicans. that is why they make the counter offers. this was a serious counter offer. most people think this is what
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will end up at in terms of the revenue. they did all of the things i would think would count as reasonable offer. other than raise rates. which the white house wants. the white house is adamant. and erskine bowles in the interview you quoted said he can guarantee the white house won't do a deal unless it has a hike in rates. >> bret: trying to get the major players to talk about this at any level deeper than the talking points is pretty tough. we tried again tonight with congressman van hollen. >> congressman, i'm not hearing a lot of give on the entitlement on this side. >> there is a difference between savings and medicare. we don't believe to pass costs -- >> bret: gotcha, so the answer is no. >> not true. you can reform medicare and build on what we did in the
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affordable care act. >> what are you going to give republicans to get them to a place to negotiate a final deal. >> there are cuts in the president's budget. i know the republicans haven't really paid attention to them. >> congressman, i haven't heard anything new you are giving them. >> they are not clear about the entitlement. that is where the president said the money is. on social security he denied any effect on the deficit at all. durbin said earlier last week social security hasn't added a dime to the dif is it. in fact, in 2012, it adds $160 billion of debt. there is more money in trust fund of social security to take care of it for 20 more
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years 25, more years. that means that pieces of paper in the trust fund with the treasury says we will pay you. but it doesn't have the money. it's spent the surplus in the past. that is simply a promise, from a treasury which is bankrupt. they won't touch social security. why? political implications. republicans are bad guys and they are the good guys. we don't want to balance it on back of seniors as if you are going to reform this and killing the budget. everybody agrees that is the one area where the treasury is hemorrhaging. impacting the seniors to get out of the drug company. that is absurd. the only way to attack this is to slow down the growth of healthcare. and the one area that you could really do that tort reform where a quarter of all spending in medicine is spent
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on defensive maneuvers that are unneeded. that $600 billion a year. not a word of that in obama care. no interest in that. that would offend the trial lawyers. on every entitlement they have shown zero seriousness. >> bret: not to mention means testing attractive on the high end. one would think are part of that when you get to that level. >> at least we don't know we're there. i agree with steve the republicans perhaps, probably a bigger risk here. you hear speaker boehner saying the perhaps wasn't paying attention election. the reality is the white house has a bigger bully pulpit here. so how they maneuver and handle themselveses is important. we are talking a few weeks before we see the fine print that you are talking about. >> bret: you know, we were out on the campaign trail. for people who thought once we got past the election this
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would be breathing room to deal with big ticket items that the country has to deal with. you know, turn the aircraft carrier or start to turn it so we're going in the right direction, it doesn't seem like we are doing that. >> it doesn't seem like that at all. what did we think? thinking that, you know, putting this problem off until the very end was suddenly easier at the end than in the beginning? it was status quo election in some respects. three leaders are still in the position. it shouldn't be that surprising to us. >> surprising to me that the president essentially who would get revenues he wants from the deductions and the exclusions but insist on the rates not for economic reasons blue political. he wants to break the backs of republicans. this is a continue wation of his campaign. he think he is won it and now he wants to drive a stake through republicans. all about the politics. nothing about the economics. >> bret: next up, syria, chemical weapons and a warning from the u.s. ♪ the weather outside is frightful ♪
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today i want to make it clear to assad and those under his command the world is watching. the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. if you make the tagetragic mistake of using the weapons, there will be consequences and you will held accountable. >> bret: president's stern warning to jare after the u.s. officials told fox news that the chemical weapons had been moved today in syria. secretary of state clinton said it would be a redlinebe for united states. back with the panel. it seems like this is serious today. the president weighing in. and the secretary of state.
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and action on the ground in syria increasing. >> no question they took the rhetoric to another level. there was a piece talking about how they consider a bolder approach on syria. to there was a precipitating event. the defection of the spokesman. either way, we are looking at white house obama administration taking this more seriously. the problem they face is a problem that they face in the sense of the last several months. the words don't mean as much now. they have been calling for assad to go for a year-and-a-half. they have been making the threats. very little of it has come to pass. there is very little action that supported the rhetoric over the course of the past year-and-a-half.
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if the stepped up rhetoric and hillary clinton identifying the use of chemical weapons as a redline which is well understood might give assad pause and people under him pause. it's the kind of situation where if you do this are you worried about what they said today as opposed to all year long. >> bret: there is fighting along the turkish border. turkey is concerned about that. about that increase. they will try to stop syrian jets attacking turkey, where the syrian rebels train. this is also increasing along the border. >> it's definitely increasing if the words from the president and the white house are the same, but it does seem like he has more authority or weight now because he is re-elected. there was uncertainty leading up to the election.
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not to bring it to domestic contest. if we have escalation of things on the foreign side as the fiscal cliff is going on that could help the white house and president as well. >> bret: charles? >> i think the problem for us is less. the problem with weapons with assad is suicidal. makes no sense. i don't see how he hangs a lot by doing that. he will hang if he does that. the tide is turning. once the rebels negate the air power they can maintain control of the land, which they are acquiring and they are acquiring. in the end, strangle damascus to bring the regime down. what they look at now in washington is a change of
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regime. i think almost inevitable over the next few months. the problem is where are the weapons going to end up? this is the biggest store of chemical weapons probably at least active ones in the world. and they will be loose. this has never happened before. we might be forced to send in our troops simply as a way to secure them. because of the jihadists among the rebels ironically enough. that is what i think the concern is here. >> bret: i remember on this panel, at the very beginning talking about the number of days that assad would be in power. number of days. then we talk about the number of weeks. you know, now we are -- >> one of the runs is he has had unimpeded supply from russia, iran, through iraq, because obama never worked out a deal with iraq, status of forces agreement where we would control the air space. all of this stuff is going in to syria, including the fighters from iran. so, assad has had outside help. the rebels have had none. that is a huge difference.
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kept them in power. but if he loses criminal of air power, he will lose the country. >> i think assad will hang no matter what. i don't think he has tremendous interest not use chemical weapons. what is interesting about what the president said it was assad and people under him. the message was directed to those people more than assad. >> bret: that is it for the panel. but stay tuned for a lighter moment in the middle of all the fiscal standoff stuff. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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>> bret: finally tonight, there has been a lot of speculation about senator john kerry being on the short list for secretary of state. and during a news conference today, it became quite clear where senator john mccain's allegiance lies. >> senator mccain? >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. [ laughter ] >> thank you very much, mr. president. [ laughter ]